Roller Shades: Clear Hem Grips

What’s the Trick to Installing Them Properly?

A properly installed hem grip on our roller shade

We have old-fashioned fabric roller shades on many of the windows in our Victorian home. They fit the style of our house, and besides that, I love their sound as I pull them down at night then flick them back up in the morning. The sound reminds me of my Great Aunt Sadie. We’ve had most of the fabric roller shades since we built our house more than ten years ago. Recently, one of the plastic “handles” broke; it’s the piece that protects the fabric from getting dirty when I pull the shade up and down. It looks like this:

Home Depot brand: "Before" on the right; "After" on the left.

My husband Mike went to Home Depot to buy a new garbage can (since our garbage men have successfully avoided removing two bags of now-solidified used cat litter from the bottom of one of our garbage cans and I’ve ripped the handle off the can trying to maneuver it up and down the driveway every week because the thing weighs, like, 75 pounds after all the water the litter has absorbed) and asked if I needed anything. Thinking of my ever-present “To Do” list I remembered we needed a “clear hem grip” so I asked him to pick up three for me so I’d have the replacement and a couple of extras for the future.

Fast forward. Last evening I pulled the roller shade down in the butler’s pantry and remembered that I had a replacement hem grip for it. As I opened the hem grip package I tried to remember how to successfully slide the grip over the wooden slat at the bottom of the shade. Turning the grip over in my hand and eyeing the shade bottom I just decided to go for it; I opened the grip as much as I could and slid/forced it up and over the wooden slat and neatly onto the bottom middle of the shade.

I pulled the shade down further, stood back, admired my work then went back to watching “House Hunters” on TV with Mike. A while later Mike and I heard a POP that sounded like breaking glass. We looked at each other. He got up and followed his ears into the butler’s pantry. Where half of my newly installed hem grip, now broken, hung drunkenly at an angle from the shade bottom while the other half lay in the sink below. Thankfully no Siamese were in the area when it popped! It had broken within an hour of me installing it!

The grip popped and broke within a short time!

The other half landed in the sink, not on a Siamese!

Pulling out a second hem grip, Mike replaced the “defective” one for me. Thankful, I let him take charge of the installation this time. He rejoined me a short time later and we began to watch “House Hunters International.”

Within less than half an hour we heard a second POP. We looked at each other. Mike got up and followed his ears into the butler’s pantry. Where his newly installed hem grip had broken in two!

My wise husband said, “You need to find a real shade store and buy real hem grips there. These ones don’t work.”

So the question of the day is: Can you tell me where a “real shade store” is located in northern New Jersey? I need a hem grip for a fabric shade.

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2 Comments

Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Family, Hem Grips, Home Manager, New Jersey, Roller Shades

2 responses to “Roller Shades: Clear Hem Grips

  1. forget about window shades — I LOVE House Hunters!! I am generally good at guessing which place they will choose — if you put your money on the most expensive (forget what they say about budget) you will have a winning percentage!

  2. james b bennett

    I read of your dilema and I suggest you contact.
    Ralph Friedland & Bros.
    Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey
    customer service will tell you of a retailer in your area that would have\
    the proper hem grips. Your problem is that the wood hem slat in the shade hem is too big for the size of grips you bought. You need a grip for the 7/8″ size wooden hem slats. Then all will be good again. Hope this helps.

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